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Getting Active, Exercise and Physical Activity

 
Keeping Active

 

 

It isn’t easy to find the time and effort to fit physical activity into our lives. Busy commutes, family and sedentary jobs often make it seem difficult to fit activity into our daily routine along with all the commitments you already have.

Yet there are plenty of missed opportunities for you to fit activity into your day. Choosing an exercise class, active travel to and from work and using the stairs instead of the lift can make big differences to your energy levels and the way you feel. Parking further away or getting off the bus one stop earlier can be an easy start to making a lot of difference to your fitness levels.


What you need to know

Why be active?

Being more active will improve your general health and wellbeing. You’ll notice other benefits too like; improved sleep, better maintenance of a healthy weight, reduced stress and a sense of real achievement.

Of course, any increase in activity will benefit your health but health experts agree that 30 minutes of activity that makes you slightly warmer and breathe more heavily on 5 or more days of the week is what most adults should aim for.

However, it is important that you build up the amount of exercise you do gradually especially if you are not used to being regularly active. You could start with 5 minutes at least 3 times a day and then gradually build up the time and frequency until 30 minutes feels easier. Once you feel comfortable with 30 minutes try working harder during that time. If your following a walking programme, walk quicker or up an incline.


Safety First!

Before introducing increased activity into your life you should consult your GP particularly if you are taking prescribed medication. Similarly if you feel discomfort or pain whilst exercising you should again seek advice from your GP.

  • Increase your level of activity gradually, don’t rush into being active, it does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.
  • Do not suddenly attempt an activity or expect to be able to do an activity you are not used to. You have to train your body and build up gradually to the level you wish to achieve.
  • When you begin undertaking an activity, begin slowly and build up gradually to allow your body to “warm up”. Start off slowly gradually building up to a faster pace.
  • When you wish to stop an activity do not stop suddenly. As your body needs warming up it also needs cooling down. You can do this by reversing your warming up activity, gradually slowing down to stop.
  • Get friends involved, doing this can have many benefits.
    • To make sure you are not pushing your body too hard you should be able to have a continuous conversation whilst being active – I’m sure a friend could help with this!
    • Exercising alone or at night can often be daunting, going with friends as well as sticking to main roads and well lit areas can help to eliminate this.


What types of activity should I be doing?

Undertaking activity should work for you and that means being enjoyable or even practical (housework for example!). Try to aim for a variety because different activities have different benefits as you can find out below:

Loose weight and improve your fitness by undertaking aerobic or cardiovascular activities. You could try brisk walking whilst shopping, gardening, cycling or even swimming. All these activities help to improve the health of your heart and lungs.

Gentle reaching, bending and stretching are good for improving flexibility, mobility, posture and balance. Dancing, T’ai Chi, yoga or Pilates are all good activities to for this.

Good bone strength can be achieved by undertaking any weight bearing activities, such as brisk walking, climbing stairs, digging the garden and weight training.

An active lifestyle…what’s stopping you!


Feeling tired?

Physical activity will give you more energy and improve your sleep. Energetic housework, brisk walking or cycling to work or something even more imaginative all count! Set yourself realistic goals and stick to them.


Not enough hours in the day!

Lack of time is the most common reason people give for not getting enough physical activity Sound Familiar? You could try reaching your 30 minutes of activity in shorter bursts of 10 minutes throughout the day. You might just be surprised about how quickly activity can become part of your daily routine.


Too unfit or overweight?

Combining healthy eating with activity is more effective for weight loss than diet alone. However unfit you feel, you can build activity up gradually to improve the way you feel in the future.


Too ill?

Medical conditions can sometimes stop us being active. Why not talk to your doctor about the benefits of appropriate activity for you.


I hate exercise?

Don’t confuse activity with formal exercise. You can be active without joining an expensive gym. Walking is one of the best ways, it’s free, and you can do it anywhere, anytime, alone or with friends. Why not get started!

Starting exercise can feel hard at first but don’t give up – your health is worth working for and you’ll reap the benefits in the way you feel longer term.


Healthy Eating

Eating a healthy balanced diet regularly is vital, as you need to ensure you are giving your body enough energy to be active. By doing this you may seem to feel the boost of energy makes you more alert during you working day and less lethargic.


 

Help and Support

 

Be Well Tameside

Tameside Be Well Service provides holistic health and wellbeing support, advice and help on a range of subjects including exercise, physical activity and getting active. Contact them today to find out more or book an appointment.
Telephone: 0161 716 2000 or email: bewelltameside@nhs.net


Live Well Tameside

If your current weekly routine involves little or no physical activity, you might be wondering where to start, especially if you have a health condition that you are worried about.  If that sounds like you, then the Live Active service could help.  Ask your GP, practice nurse or healthcare professional for a referral.  Live Active has specialist advisors who can support you to get moving and stay active with your long term condition.


Useful Websites
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/moving
www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Fitness/
www.livingstreets.org.uk


Places to get active in Tameside

Why not visit one of Active Tameside’s venues – lots of activities to get involved in that does not necessarily mean hitting the treadmill!
www.activetameside.com

Or why not enjoy some of the lovely views Tameside have to offer.
www.tameside.gov.uk/greenspace

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